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College of the Ozarks dairy receives top awards at Missouri State Fair, Ozark Empire Fair

Madison Calton - Photo courtesy of College of the Ozarks

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — During the summer and fall fair season, College of the Ozarks dairy students had the opportunity to show cows in various classes at the Missouri State Fair and the Ozark Empire Fair and came away with nearly 40 awards, including Premier Breeder at the Missouri State Fair.

Ryan Bilyeu, dairy manager at C of O, and his students presented their best dairy cattle and placed well in the overall competitions. 

Bilyeu serves as vice president of the Missouri Holstein Association.

The College of the Ozarks W. Alton Jones Dairy raises Holstein, Ayrshire, and Jersey cows. The College institutes a “farm to fork” experience, by which the milk attained from the farm is processed and bottled by students, then distributed to the on-campus consumers, such as The Keeter Center and Pearl Rogers Dining Center. Through the entire process of development, students work to make the complete product: rich milk used in the production of delicious beverages and home-made ice cream, for sale in Nettie Marie’s College Creamery.

“The cool thing is that students get to see it full circle,” Bilyeu said. “They see the baby calf born, grow up, calve for the first time, start milking, the milk processed, and finally, the milk delivered to the consumer. To see the consumer drink the milk with a smile makes us excited about all the hard work we have done, knowing it’s all worth it.”

Madison Calton is a senior agricultural business major with a minor in accounting from Tishomingo, Oklahoma. She has worked in the dairy for three years, with no experience in dairy farming growing up. She grew up on a hog farm. After college, she would love to work for Midwest Dairy.

“I have grown in my knowledge of the dairy industry,” Calton said. “When I first started working at the College’s dairy farm, I didn’t know much about cows at all. Now, I can teach others about the dairy industry. I learned how to drive tractors, breed cows, milk cows, and understand more about how animal vaccines work. Through this experience over the last few years, I found a special love for the dairy industry. Overall, I gained valuable managing skills as well.”

College of the Ozarks rankings:

Missouri State Fair

Premier Breeder



2nd place Spring Calf

3rd place Winter Heifer



1st place Dry Cow

1st place Produce of Dam

1st place Breeder's Herd

1st Best Three Females

1st place Senior 2-year-old

2nd place Fall Heifer

2nd place Summer Yearling

2nd place Exhibitor's Herd

2nd place Dairy Herd

2nd place Daughter Dam

3rd Place Produce of Dam

4th place Winter Heifer

4th place Junior 2-year-old

4th place Senior 3-year-old

6th place Summer Yearling

7th place Fall Heifer


Ozark Empire Fair

Holstein Premier Breeder

Holstein Premier Exhibitor



1st place Spring Calf

1st place Winter Heifer



1st place Best Three Junior Females

1st place Produce of Dam

1st place Breeder's Herd

1st place Senior 2-year-old

2nd place Exhibitor's Herd

2nd place Junior 2-year-old

2nd place senior 3-year-old

2nd place Produce of Dam

2nd place Best Three Senior Females

3rd place Winter Heifer

3rd place Fall Heifer

4th place Fall Heifer

5th place Summer Yearling

6th place Summer Yearling

Honorable Mention Intermediate Champion

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